The Literary Writer as Public Intellectual after 1945 (NeMLA 2022)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

Inviting abstract submissions for a panel on "The Literary Writer as Public Intellectual After 1945" at NeMLA's 53rd Annual Convention, to be held March 10-13, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland

This panel examines the ways in which literary writers have adopted, subverted, or transformed the role of the public intellectual since 1945. Literary writers mattered to American public life during the mid-twentieth century in distinctive ways: that is, reading practices mattered to civic life (Matthews 2016, Menand 2010) and many novelists believed that the figurative or symbolic forms that they created could have a genuine impact on "more ostensibly 'real' political formations" (Szalay 2012).

Welcoming presentations on the public intellectual work of both literary critics and writers of literature, this panel joins contemporary conversations about the public humanities by examining recent historical examples of writers who have drawn on their expertise in literature to shape public conversations in the United States.

Questions that presenters might address include but are not limited to:

- How did public intellectual work change as both literary and intellectual culture became increasingly affiliated with academic institutions?
- How have magazines, television, the internet, and other forms of mass media provided literary intellectuals with valuable sites of public engagement?
- How does the cultivation of literary celebrity shape writers’ public influence?


Please submit abstracts through the NeMLA Web Portal using the following link: